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INTRODUCTION EVOLUTION OF TRADE UNION IN INDIA FEATURES OBJECTIVES FUNCTIONS REASONS FOR JOINING TRADE UNION STRUCTURE OF TRADE UNION PROBLEMS AND WEAKNESSES FACED BY TRADE UNIONS
Section 2(h) of the Trade Unions Act, 1926 has defined a trade union as ³Any combination, whether temporary or permanent, formed primarily for the purpose of regulating the relations between workmen and employers, or between workmen and workmen, or between employers and employers, or for imposing restrictive conditions on the conduct of any trade or business, and includes any federation of two or more trade unions.´
It is a relatively permanent formation of workers.CONT. Trade union is an association either of employees or employers or of independent workers. . It is not a temporary or casual combination of workers. It is formed for securing certain economic. social benefits to members.
All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat (HMKP) Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) Indian Federation of Free Trade Unions (IFFTU) Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) National Front of Indian Trade Unions (NFITU) National Labor Organization (NLO) Trade Unions Co-ordination Centre (TUCC) United Trade Union Congress (UTUC) and United Trade Union Congress .LS) .1. 5. 9. 2. 6. 4. 10. 3. 7. 11. 8. 12.Lenin Sarani (UTUC .
It is a permanent body and not a casual or temporary one. political and social-of its members. The dominant interest with which a union is concerned is. however.` It is an organization formed by employees or workers. It achieves its objectives through collective action and group effort ` ` ` . It is formed to protect and promote all kinds of interests ±economic. It is formed on a continuous basis. economic.
Emergence of TU in India can be defined in three phases: ` The first phase falls between 1850 and 1900 during which the inception of trade unions took place. During this period of the growth of Indian Capitalist enterprises. . the working and living conditions of the labor were poor and their working hours were long.
Mr.` ` Capitalists were only interested in their productivity and profitability. employment of child labour was prohibited. In addition to long working hours.. their wages were low and general economic conditions were poor in industries. . N M Lokhande organized people like Rickshawalas etc. prepared a study report on their working conditions and submitted it to the Factory Labour Commission. In order to regulate the working hours and other service conditions of the Indian textile labourers. the Indian Factories Act was enacted in 1881 As a result.
the growth of trade union movement was slow in this phase. Lokhande. Many strikes took place in the two decades following 1880 in all industrial cities.` The Indian Factory Act of 1881 was amended in 1891 due to his efforts. . Guided by educated philanthropists(generous donors) and social workers like Mr. These strikes taught workers to understand the power of united action even though there was no union in real terms. Small associations like Bombay Mill-Hands Association came up.
The First World War (1914-1918) and the Russian revolution of 1917 gave a new turn to the Indian trade union movement and organized efforts on part of the workers to form trade unions. It also witnessed the emergence of militant trade unionism. B P Wadia organized trade union movements with Textile mills in Madras.` ` ` The second phase of The Indian trade union movement falls between 1900 and 1947. . this phase was characterized by the development of organized trade unions and political movements of the working class. In 1918.
N N Joshi that became operative from 1927. Mahatma Gandhi suggested to let individual struggle be a Mass movement.` ` He served strike notice to them and workers appealed to Madras High Court because under µCommon Law¶. the First National Trade union organization (The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)) was established. . Many of the leaders of this organization were leaders of the national Movement. In 1920. In 1919. strike is a breach of law. In 1926. Trade union law came up with the efforts of Mr.
Besides workers. as for example in the Banking. The working class movement was also politicized along the lines of political parties. For instance Indian national trade Union Congress (INTUC) is the trade union arm of the Congress Party.` The third phase began with the emergence of independent India (in 1947). and the Government sought the cooperation of the unions for planned economic development. white-collar employees. . The AITUC is the trade union arm of the Communist Party of India. supervisors and managers are also organized by the trade unions. Insurance and Petroleum industries.
` ` ` ` ` ` ` ` Wages salaries Working conditions Discipline Personnel policies Welfare Employee-employer relation Negotiating machinery Safeguarding organizational health and interest of the industry .
FINANCIAL DISCOUNTS.CONT. ` ` ` ` EDUCATION AND TRAINING. WELFARE BENEFITS. LEGAL ASSISTANCE. .
FRATERNAL FUNCTIONS. .` ` ` Functions of trade union can be broadly classified into : MILITANT FUNCTIONS.
gherao. When the unions fail to accomplish these aims by the method of collective bargaining and negotiations. etc. the militant functions of trade unions can be summed up as: .One set of activities performed by trade unions leads to the betterment of the position of their members in relation to their employment. get better treatment from employers. Hence. The aim of such activities is to ensure adequate wages. they adopt an approach and put up a fight with the management in the form of go-slow tactics. these functions of the trade unions are known as militant or fighting functions. boycott. Thus. strike. secure better conditions of work and employment. etc.
CONT ` To achieve higher wages and better working conditions To raise the status of workers as a part of industry To protect labors against victimization and injustice ` ` .
` Another set of activities performed by trade unions aims at rendering help to its members in times of need. Trade unions try to foster a spirit of cooperation and promote friendly industrial relations and diffuse education and culture among their members. and improving their efficiency. Thus. the fraternal functions of trade unions can be summed up as: .
To take up welfare measures for improving the morale of workers To generate self confidence among workers To encourage sincerity and discipline among workers To provide opportunities for promotion and growth To protect women workers against discrimination ` ` ` ` .` CONT.
` ` ` ` ` ` ` GREATER BARGAINING POWER MINIMIZE DISCRIMINATION SENSE OF SECURITY SENSE OF PARTICIPATION SENSE OF BELONGINGNESS PLATFORM FOR SELF EXPRESSION BETTERMENT OF RELATIONSHIP .
` GREATER BARGAINING POWER The individual employee possesses very little bargaining power as compared to that of his employer. The threat or actuality of a strike by a union is a powerful tool that often causes the employer to accept the demands of the workers for better conditions of employment. . he can leave the job. It is not practicable to continually resign from one job after another when he is dissatisfied. If he is not satisfied with the wage and other conditions of employment. This imposes a great financial and emotional burden upon the worker. The better course for him is to join a union that can take concerted action against the employer.
` MINIMIZE DISCRIMINATION The decisions regarding pay. transfer. The personal relationships existing between the supervisor and each of his subordinates may influence the management. etc. . Thus. there are chances of favoritisms and discriminations. All the labor decisions of the management are under close scrutiny of the labor union. This has the effect of minimizing favoritism and discrimination. work. A trade union can compel the management to formulate personnel policies that press for equality of treatment to the workers. promotion. are highly subjective in nature.
` SENSE OF SECURITY The employees may join the unions because of their belief that it is an effective way to secure adequate protection from various types of hazards and income insecurity such as accident. injury. . etc. The trade union secure retirement benefits of the workers and compel the management to invest in welfare services for the benefit of the workers. unemployment. illness.
They can influence the decisions that are taken as a result of collective bargaining between the union and the management.` SENSE OF PARTICIPATION The employees can participate in management of matters affecting their interests only if they join trade unions. .
At times. those who are members of a union feel that they gain respect in the eyes of their fellow workers. On the other hand. he often has a very difficult time at work. an employee joins a union under group pressure.` SENSE OF BELONGINGNESS Many employees join a union because their coworkers are the members of the union. They can also discuss their problem with¶ the trade union leaders. . if he does not.
All of us wish to share our feelings. ideas and opinions with others. .` PLATFORM FOR SELF EXPRESSION The desire for self-expression is a fundamental human drive for most people. ideas and opinions of the workers could be discussed. Similarly the workers also want the management to listen to them. opinions and complaints of the workers to the management. It can also transmit the feelings. The collective voice of the workers is heard by the management and give due consideration while taking policy decisions by the management. ideas. A trade union provides such a forum where the feelings.
.` BETTERMENT OF RELATIONSHIP Another reason for employees joining unions is that employees feel that unions can fulfill the important need for adequate machinery for proper maintenance of employer-employee relations. Unions help in betterment of industrial relations among management and workers by solving the problems peacefully.
` . These local level federations might be affiliated to either some regional level or national level federation or these may be independent. Local Level federations. The local trade union federation holds together the plant level unions at the local level in a particular craft and industry. This comprises the unions in one organization or factory. Only seven members are required to form a union. This is the second level in the structure from below. This has lead to multiple unions in one factory.` Plant level Unions: The first level in the structure from below is the plant level union.
local unions or regional level unions may get affiliated. These national federations may have their own regional or state level coordinating bodies to which the plant level unions may get affiliated. ` Regional level federations. These are the organizations of all the constituent unions in a particular state or region. These are national level bodies to which plant level unions. National federations. These are the apex bodies at the top of the structure.CONT. They act as coordinating bodies. ` .
There is no restriction on the number of unions to be registered in one establishment. Any seven persons can form a union under the Trade Unions Act. This Act confers rights on such a union. both industry-wise and area-wise. Limited Membership. Trade unions are popular in big industries and the degree of unionization varies widely from industry to industry. The trade unionism in India is characterized by uneven growth. Besides. But this has been followed by the declining membership per union. small sections of workers are encouraged to form separate Unions. file suits. . Multiplicity of Unions. The number of trade unions in India has increased considerably. 1926. go to conciliation and even bargain with employers. The law permits and gives sanctity to small unions. There exist several trade unions in the same establishment. It is allowed under the Act to raise disputes. Therefore. trade union activities are concentrated in a few states and in bigger industrial centers mainly due to concentration of industries in those places.` ` ` Uneven Growth.
Outside Leadership. Besides this. a union interested in increasing its membership figures keeps the subscription rate unduly low. Financial Problems. . Under conditions of multiplicity of unions. These outsiders are politicians. the funds with the unions are inadequate and they cannot undertake welfare programs for their members. Another reason for the weak financial position of union is that large amounts of subscription dues remain unpaid by the workers. Trade unions in India are led largely by people who themselves are not workers. Outsiders continue to dominate the trade unions to advance their personal interests. The subscription rates are very low. As a result. intellectuals and professionals having no experience of work in industry.CONT. unions do not have proper staff and organization to collect subscriptions. The financial position of the trade unions is weak because their average yearly income is very low and inadequate.
. Moreover. trade unionism cannot be expected to make much progress. all the members of the trade unions do not show interest in their affairs.` Indifferent Attitude of Workers. In India. The attendance at the general meetings of the unions is very low. a large number of workers have not joined any union. Under such circumstance.
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